ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (WTSP) — Some Florida deputies borrowed a family’s boat to help catch an accused WaveRunner thief.
It happened around 12:30 p.m. Sunday along the Intracoastal Waterway in Ormond Beach.
The Volusia Sheriff’s Office says deputies were dispatched to help police with a call about a WaveRunner that was in the process of being stolen. Investigators say the thief was unable to get the WaveRunner started, so he had just floated off into the water with it.
Body camera video showed the deputies arriving at a nearby dock. They approached a boater and child on the dock, asking if the family could give them a ride out to where the accused thief had drifted with the WaveRunner.
“Do you want to take the boat?” the boater offered to the deputies. “You can take it and come back.”
As the deputies rode out on the water, body cam video showed one raising his gun at the accused thief on the WaveRunner. The deputies could be heard identifying themselves as being with the sheriff’s office and ordering the man to put his hands up.
Law enforcement instructed the man to swim over to the boat, but he indicated he couldn’t swim.
“So, you’re gonna take a jet ski and you don’t know how to swim?” one deputy asked in disbelief.
Authorities ultimately pulled up, threw the accused thief a rope, got him aboard and arrested him. The sheriff’s office identified him as 48-year-old Ronald Williams.
Online jail records indicate he was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and trespassing.
The WaveRunner has since been returned to its owner, according to authorities.
On Facebook, the sheriff’s office thanked the family who lent authorities the boat. The body camera video can be seen below.